Monsignor Robert F. Morris, vicar general of the Diocese of St. Petersburg and president of the Catholic Charities Board of Trustees, and Father john E. McEvoy, V.F., pastor of St. Anne Catholic Church of Ruskin, bless the new Las Villas Apartments affordable housing complex in Ruskin.

On June 22, Hillsborough County and Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg officials dedicated a former rundown motel on U.S. Highway 41 that has been renovated and transformed into Las Villas Apartments, an affordable housing complex.

With rent and home prices rapidly rising across Florida and the country, governments, nonprofits and housing advocates are finding creative solutions. The $2 million project to create Las Villas Apartments in Ruskin is the latest nontraditional effort to provide affordable housing.

Located at 1308 N. U.S. Hwy. 41 in Ruskin, the blessing and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Las Villas Apartments featured representatives from Hillsborough County and Catholic Charities.

The 13 units were extensively renovated to create 13 efficiency apartments that are being rented to low-income residents at below-market rates. The former motel was purchased with $1.5 million in funding from Hillsborough County and $500,000 from Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg.

Hillsborough County has prioritized addressing affordable housing issues, investing more than $54 million into the community in 2021, directly impacting more than 24,300 households. The programs and services funded by the county focus on creating new affordable housing opportunities, training for residents to further their careers in order to afford homeownership and infrastructure improvements that enhance the communities around them.

Since 1945, Catholic Charities has provided social services aimed at supporting and preserving families and promoting self-sufficiency and social justice. Under the auspices of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Catholic Charities is a nonprofit leader in serving the poor and vulnerable within Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties.

For more information on Hillsborough County affordable housing and to find resources to help with financial assistance for home repairs, down payments, rental and housing needs, as well as information on other affordable housing needs, such as fair housing and federal reporting notices, visit

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